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Accidental pregnancies: how do you deal with the guilt?

(11 Posts)
Lizita Thu 28-Jul-05 15:46:44

My dd is nearly 2 and I’ve actually reconciled some of these issues by now, but they do still rear their ugly heads from time to time. To explain, it is in relation to 3 people that I have struggled with feeling guilty:
1) My dd. She is the result of a one night stand, her father lives overseas and although we have good contact it will be a good while before she ever meets him. It feels weird to have brought a child into this world in this situation. It took me ages to reconcile myself to the fact that I was having a baby, as I had never intended to have children, and the time that haunts me still is when I was crying my heart out at about 4/5 months pregnant saying “I don’t want to have this baby!” Of course now I wouldn’t have it any other way, she is the best thing that ever happened tome. But the other thing I wonder about is, when she becomes a teenage girl, how do I have any authority to lecture her about the birds and the bees and pregnancy and all that, if you know what I mean, when I was so stupid myself in my 20s, without making it sound like she was a horrible mistake?
2) Dd’s father. I know it takes two to tango, and we were both very drunk, but I do know it was me who initiated the whole thing, and I get this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think about how I’ve changed his life forever, and his new family’s life… I had one male friend say that there is no reason for a father to have anything to do with his child if the mother chose not to have an abortion, as that decision was taken out of his hands… I think, wanker… men should practice safe sex in the first place!! But his comment also comes back to haunt me, though for me abortion was never an option.
3) My boyf. This is the biggy. We got together before I found out I was pregnant. Although I told him at the beginning that he could take a hike if he wished, and we are leading a “normal” relationship i.e. he is not playing “father” or living with us or anything, most of the relationship I have felt like I owe him so much for sticking around, and that I need to make it up to him all the time. It has got to the point sometimes where I get so confused about whether I have a right to be pissed off about something he’s done or said because, oh, I’ve got someone else’s kid and it’s not his fault and “he’s not her dad”. (Usually in relation to something that is affected by that situation, e.g. when out shopping with dd and I wanna do something like go to a café to prevent dd’s boredom and he wants to carry on traipsing around the shops…I feel like I have to do the latter because it’s my fault we’re in that situation, even though it feels like he’s being selfish and not thinking of me and dd. Or when I have to leave early(ish) when we’re out to get back to the babysitter and I feel a bit pissed off/uncared-for when he chooses to stay out and not accompany me home even though it’s late (incidentally, do most boyfriends accompany their girlfriends home or am I just a wimp?)…. Though I’ve solved that one because usually my babysitters stay over so we can be as late as we like.) I just wanna know, when am I gonna stop feeling like this and start asserting myself fully without the fear of “I’m not her dad” being fired back at me?? (And just to make clear, he’s only said that 2 or 3 times, this is mainly in my head, rather than how he sees it.)

Aragon Thu 28-Jul-05 16:17:10

Oh Lizite,

You have to stop beating yourself up for a mistake you made on one night.

Firstly, your daughter is loved and wanted - she needn't know that you may not have had children - just tell her that you always planned children and that she came along quicker than expected. Talk to her about the good things of being a youngish Mum and the negative bits and also the good and bad bits about being an older parent. You sound a lovely Mum - she is the best thing that ever happened to you - that's what she needs to know and hear.

Secondly, her father made a choice when he had the one night stand with you. This was to use contraception or not. If he didn't then (despite what your idiot male friend says)he is equally as responsible for the creation of your beautiful daughter. It definitely does take two to tango but usually it's the woman who has to cope with the after effects.

Lastly, you are a decent human being who has coped with a massive life changing event. You deserve every bit of respect going from people and you need to know you are worth this respect. You have a daughter and you come as a package, believe me when I say there are plenty of nice, decent men out there who would happily accept this.
You have every right to have your needs respected. Your current bf might not be your daughter's Dad but you don't "owe" him anything. You are a good person who is worth treating well and more importantly your daughter needs to see that you are worth treating well as she will pick up her cues about how SHE should be treated as an adult from what she sees in childhood. Let her see what I can tell from your post - you are a worthy person, worthy of being loved, cared for, escorted home after a date and having your needs met in a supportive way. Dump this bloke if he really cannot give you that and find somebody who will - believe me there are plenty of decent men out there. I hope some of the Dads who post here will read your post - I suspect they may have an opinion on your current man.

Above all - stop beating yourself up. You are the Mum of a beautiful daughter who is the best thing ever to happen to you - you're both worthy of a decent man. You owe you man nothing for "sticking around" if he's not supporting you, loving you and showing your daughter that her Mum is a worthy person.

megandsoph Thu 28-Jul-05 16:20:03

not sure what to say regarding the first part of your thread hun, but the part in which you are saying you feel guilty for your current partner... WHY?? at the end of the day he does not have to stick around. He should be there because he wants to be there not because he is guaranteed to get his own way all the time. You and dd come as one and IMO he should act as though he would if dd was his natural child IYKWIM

Lizita Thu 28-Jul-05 16:44:35

Thank you so much, I have told myself those things over & over but it's always good to hear it from someone else!

But oh dear, I seem to have made my boyf out to be a arsehole, and he isn't at all. He is loving, supportive and all that, I just wanted to use a couple of examples of situations that in the past I've felt I've no right... like I said, it's in MY head, not in his. But it is so good to have you both say WHY DO YOU FEEL GUILTY? because I just can't get away from that feeling, even though it has been his decision the whole time to stay with me.
Also, megandsoph, I don't agree that he should be treating dd like she's his own, because she's not, and he's not living with me, playing father etc. It was very very hard for him me having someone else's child, but he has been magnificent seeing it through, and as a result has bonded really well with her and they adore each other now.

Kelly1978 Thu 28-Jul-05 16:47:15

Lizita - My twisn were a complete accident, I was usign contraception at the time. I jsut don't plan on telling them that - they don't need to know!
As regards your current situation, I know how you feel. I felt like that when I met my current bf, as he is a few years younger than me, and I felt guilty that I was lumbering him with my kids. But at the end of the day it was HIS choice, same as it is for your fella. They can walk off any time they want to , but they chose not to. So, since he has made that choice, there has to be some sacrifices, ou have to balance your whole families needs, and not just ur bfs.

megandsoph Thu 28-Jul-05 16:54:57

"So, since he has made that choice, there has to be some sacrifices, ou have to balance your whole families needs, and not just ur bfs."

thats what I ment to say but kelly said it so much better

Lizita Thu 28-Jul-05 19:10:55

yeah agreed kelly. I have always put my dd before my bf of course, but i have put loads of effort into making sure our relationship was on track too. i think the sacrifices have been in terms of time with my friends...esp as they're not very "going out" type friends so a lot of my time spent with them has been with my dd or them coming over to mine. I want to change that though, and bf has babysat of an evening himself so i can go out with other people...

also kelly, my dd will have to know she was an accident because it was a one night stand with a guy i only know a bit (from work). There's no other way of explaining it to her! not without lying anyway... i wouldn't even want to say "we didn't love each other" cos it didn't even get to that point...iykwim.... perhaps this is another thread...how to explain your kid is a result of a one night stand!

Kelly1978 Fri 29-Jul-05 09:52:07

I once had a discussion with dp involving the kids coming first. It isn't nice, tellign the person u love that someone else comes first, but I jsut told my dp that the kids needed me more, he could look after himself!

ICWYM abt the one night stand, I'm not sure what I would do. I think if it was my dd, I would weigh it up at the time. If she had the sense to handle it if I told her the truth I think I would. Then it would be totally upfront and not making any excuses, but reasurring her that I didn't regret having her etc. If I thought there was a risk she couldn't handle it I think I would lie, tbh. It isn't somethign you are going to want to tell her, so I wouldn't tell her any more than she actually asks in either situation.

It is a difficult situation all round, and I really know how you feel.

Lizita Fri 29-Jul-05 11:56:41

yeah had that conversation when dd was a baby, when i found it a struggle when dp came over & tried to give him as much attention as poss and dd was needing more & more attention too, i had to say dd is a priority which seems obvious to me but dp was like "so what am i supposed to do then?" but it all got easier once dd started sleeping through & going to bed in the evenings no prob!

Caligula Fri 29-Jul-05 12:10:29

Lizita, don't know about problem a) except that these things happen and you've got to move on and stop feeling guilty - your moral authoritiy as a mother with your dd in the future will come from what kind of mother you are to her, not what mistakes you made in the past.

b) it's not reasonable for a man to expect a woman to kill her child for his convenience.

c) long term, I don't see how it's sustainable for you to have a relationship with a man who is not prepared to do the surrogate role of father to your dd. It would be v. different if she was much older (like in her teens) and you could keep them more separate, but you sound like a young woman who may want more children in the future and to build a real family, and by opting out of full responsibility and involvement with your dd, your dp isn't really participitating in your family life. And that's not fair on dd - she's going to see your dp as a father figure anyway, because he's there and that's what kids without fathers do (ime). With children around, you either have to keep lovers completely separate from them, or they have to be completely involved. How you get from one stage to the other is a mystery to me, but to stay at this halfway house stage forever, is really not good for you or your dd, imo.

Lizita Sat 30-Jul-05 09:58:13

hi caligula
Neither me nor my dp have any intention of staying at this halfway stage forever. He wants to "settle down" and have children in the future, just not yet, and neither do I. In fact right now I don't know if I want any more at all! There was no other way of us "being" at this stage, and there is absolutely NO reason why I should expect him to throw himself fully into being a father figure, from the beginning, and turning us into a family, and it was the last thing I would have wanted anyway, and would have been very bad for us all if i we had tried that way. If all goes well, one day we will be ready and we'll take it a step at a time until that time comes.

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